Civil Government: Chapter 11 – Why Christians Should Vote (Excerpt)

Civil Government - coverUnderstanding the difference between these two models of government [the divine model and Satan’s model] makes the Bible student the best voter. His vote is cast, not on the basis of a candidate’s appearance or charisma, but upon the basis of bedrock biblical principles. He knows that “righteousness exalts a nation” and that “sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). He knows that the “throne is established on righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12; 25:5).

Some wrongly conclude that referencing such Old Testament Scriptures constitutes a call for a theocracy. While it is true that Solomon lived and wrote under a theocratic form of government [God was the true King of Israel], “righteousness” does not “exalt a nation” only in a theocracy. “Righteousness” involves the right treatment of others and can be practiced in any type of government and in any age or country. While discussing civil government (Romans 13:1-10), Paul said, “The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up on this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:9-10, ESV). Paul here identified the fundamental purpose and operating principle of a God-ordained government: God’s model for civil government is one that protects people from being wronged by others. The reality is that “not all have faith,” as Paul wrote to the Thessalonians. There are “wicked and evil men” who wish to exploit, harm, and wrong others (2 Thessalonians 3:2, ESV). The divine model of government provides a mechanism for dealing with evil people. Personifying civil authority, Paul wrote, “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4, ESV). The job of government is to provide a peaceful atmosphere in which people may “heartily” do whatever they put their hands to doing (Colossians 3:23; 1 Timothy 2:2).

Those who properly understand these passages and principles understand the need to cast votes for candidates who appreciate this limited role that God has prescribed for civil government. Incidentally, there is a reason why the United States Constitution provides for a limited government with enumerated powers: it was composed by Bible students who understood the biblical principles expressed in this chapter.

You can read more about why Christians should vote in Civil Government: What the Bible Says About Its Origin, History, Nature, and Role. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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